Public bookings for Illawong Lodge

Illawong Lodge is managed on a voluntary basis by Illawong Ski Tourers (IST) under a licence from the NSW Department of Environment, Climate Change and Water. Under the licence, members of the public can stay at Illawong. The Illawong Ski Tourers committee manages all use of the Lodge. This page explains how members of the public can stay at Illawong. Please download the documents linked from this page for full information.

Illawong is cared for by volunteers

Illawong Lodge owes its existence to the care and commitment of its members and friends for over 50 years, and its sustainable use by many people will continue to depend on members and friends.

Members pay a joining fee and an annual subscription, and Illawong Ski Tourers pays an annual licence fee to NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS). Members and friends also undertake everything to keep Illawong Lodge running – from annual stocktakes, to carrying out 30 empty gas bottles and returning with full ones, carrying in all non-perishable food, routine and emergency maintenance, and a host of administrative tasks.

Illawong Ski Tourers is not a commercial enterprise: it is a small, not-for-profit organisation that depends on the willing, voluntary contribution from its members and friends. Illawong tariffs recover direct costs plus an allowance for future maintenance and contingencies.

Who can stay?

In the winter booking period (1 July to end of October long weekend), 35% of the available bed-nights are reserved for bookings for people other than Illawong members and their immediate family. In all cases, an Accredited Lodge Leader (ALL) is in residence for each booking. Their responsibility is to open, operate, and close the Lodge, but visitors are responsible for their own meals, safety and skiing activities. To accommodate this, a non-member party will typically include up to 4 people at one time.

Action Man on The Sentinel, Photo A Perry 2008

Pre-winter visit required for safety and enjoyment

Being relatively remote, about 2.5 km from the nearest road at Guthega, safety is a more significant issue at Illawong than in the resorts. Access is by foot track in summer and on cross-country skis (or snow shoes) in winter, over undulating terrain, beginning with a steep descent and ascent at Farm Creek of the journey, bridge crossing, and a traverse across a steep slope above Guthega Pondage.

The trip into Illawong in winter can take from 1 to more than 3 hours depending on snow and weather conditions, and on the experience of the skier(s) – especially the slowest member of your party. Crossing Farm Creek near Guthega across the bridge is awkward and challenging with skis, poles and a heavy pack.

Staying at Illawong is far removed from a motel room or a resort lodge. As well as the operational systems, visitors need to be comfortable in the small, simple, communal accommodation, with a shared dormitory. You will share a small environment of one bunkroom, bathroom and living quarters with up to 8 people known and unknown.

Electricity is available at Illawong only for light – no electrical appliances of any sort, including chargers for electrical devices.

For a safe and enjoyable stay at Illawong in winter, the following key requirements apply:

  • Have previously visited Illawong Lodge, possibly at an Easter work-party or scheduled open day, and seen how it operates and the dormitory style of accommodation available.
  • Have experience in off-track cross-country skiing carrying a full rucksack.

Under 18s

People of all ages and backgrounds, including children and teenagers, are warmly encouraged to stay at Illawong and participate in all its activities – and have done so in safety for over 50 years. Illawong is known for its culture of providing a child-safe and child-friendly environment.

All adults responsible for children staying at Illawong should satisfy themselves that the conditions are suitable. IST requires appropriate permission for all people under 18 staying in the lodge without their parent, legal guardian or caregiver. Each young person will have a known adult nominated as their mentor for the period of their stay.

Illawong requests all adults booking at the Lodge for the first time to complete a Prohibited Persons Declaration, similar to those used by schools and sporting clubs, because it is possible that children may be staying at the Lodge at the same time.


Each winter 35% of available bed nights may be booked by people other than members of Illawong Ski Tourers and their families, as temporary members. These bookings are only accepted if:

  • Each member of the party has visited Illawong outside of winter.
  • Each member of the party has experience in off-track cross-country skiing carrying a full rucksack.
  • An Illawong member who is an Accredited Lodge Leader is present for the whole period of the booking.
  • Full payment for tariff accompanies booking requests.
  • All members of the party have returned all previously issued keys, or paid a replacement cost.
  • The IST committee is satisfied that all members of the party will comply with Illawong’s management policies, in which case each person is approved for temporary membership of Illawong Ski Tourers for the period of the booking.
  • Any person under the age of 18, not accompanied by a parent, guardian or caregiver, has written permission to be in the party, including nomination of a responsible adult who will be resident at Illawong for their period of residence.
  • All adults have completed a 'Prohibited Persons Declaration'.

Contact the Honorary Booking Officer for latest information.

Walking out from The Sentinel, A Perry 2008

Public booking information
Booking information

Read this information before submitting a booking. [PDF file - 809Kb]

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Booking form

Download, print, complete and post to Illawong.

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Temporary membership

Extract from Illawong Ski Tourers rule book.

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Prohibited persons declaration

Required for all adults for a first time booking at Illawong Lodge.

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All documents

Zip file containing all documents [1.3Mb]

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